The value of a charity's ethos of treating and supporting people humanely with dignity and respect has been underlined by the experience of one person who sought help.

3food4u founder Pesh Kapasiawala explained it received the following message at 11.24pm on Wednesday, April 7 from Michelle, which it replied to immediately.

Michelle: "Hi we are on benefits & we have a autistic adult son, we are finding it really hard at the moment, I was wondering if we are able to get help with food & clothes."

3food4u: "Hello Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. You are very welcome to come to any one of our hubs, you don't need any ID or proof, and take whatever you need. It's all very easy just like going shopping. Come early as there are queues."

Michelle: "I've got to take my mum for her Covid injection today, so was hoping to go to you tomorrow, I'm very nervous. But I saw on Facebook how lovely & friendly the people are & the people make you very welcome x"

3food4u volunteers Grace and Georgia

3food4u volunteers Grace and Georgia

Michelle visited the charity last Friday and has urged other people in need of help to do likewise, praising the way she was treated at the Waltham Abbey hub and for it providing "a lifeline in these troubling times".

She said: "I've used food banks before but never felt comfortable but when I went to your food bank everyone was so friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend you to anyone who's struggling right now.

"What made it more special was the personal touch and none of the volunteers were judgemental as it seems to be from other food banks. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with everyone at the Waltham Abbey branch so I'd just like to say thank you to everyone involved.

"With Covid-19 affecting all of us both mentally and financially, I would say don't feel ashamed to ask for help and thanks to the kindness of strangers we can all feel a little bit better about ourselves.

"The volunteers at 3food4u are really nice and friendly and chat to you as though you are friends. They even make the effort to know your name . Without them life would be much more difficult so its a lifeline in these troubling times."

Some of the food available to those struggling in these times

Some of the food available to those struggling in these times

3food4u is supported by the Rotary Club of Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell which is continuing to meet on Zoom on Thursdays at 7pm.

If you would like to attend a meeting, contact Pesh on 020 8500 2527 / 07973 166940 or email

The club's next guest speaker is Pradip Mistry, who will be talking about the theme of 'Managing Change', at the earlier time of 6.30pm on Thursday.

A virtual bingo night in aid of the Chigwell Riding Trust will be staged on Saturday, starting at 7.30pm, and on Thursday, April 22 Angela Jestico will be talking about 'My Passion', again starting at 6.30pm.